Photos & Collage by Avital Rotbart

Program Guide: September 14, 2014 (Elul 19, 5774) 

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There's a lot to to forward to in this week's newsletter, including:
  • Listen: Talmudic Scholar Rabbi Daniel Rapp on Preparing for Rosh Hashanah 5775
  • Listen: East Denver Orthodox Synagogue - Taking the Wraps Off
  • Calendar: Events In Our Community
  • Read: News and Features You Don't Want To Miss
  • Watch: JEWISHcolorado's Doug Seserman Takes "The Hummus Challenge"
  • Order: Your Rosh Hashana Symbolic Foods Platter from the Denver Community Kollel. Deadline extended to September 20th.  See ad below


EDOS Leadership Takes The Wraps Off:
The Shul's Recent Physical & Spiritual Innovations

How the remodeling process has reinvigorated 
the spirit of this 52-year-old community treasure... 
(L-R) Shlomo Fried, Rabbi Daniel Rapp, Jeff Auerbach, and Susie Fishman.
Photographed July 17, 2014 at The Jewish Experience Center.
Featuring Interviews with Daniel Rapp (Rabbi), Shlomo Fried (Gabbai), 
Jeff Auerbach (VP), and Susie Fishman (Secretary)

Walk in the front door of the East Denver Orthodox Synagogue - located at 198 S. Holly Street - and you'll find a congregation in the final stages of a major remodeling project. The last time EDOS underwent such a significant renovation was in the 1980s.


At the same time that the synagogue has beautified its physical structure, EDOS has also freshened its spiritual role in the community. 


The shul will celebrate its 52nd Annual Dinner this Thursday evening, September 18th, at 7 pm. Honorees are Dr. Yitzchak and Michelle TeitelbaumGeorge Gumbiner will receive the Hakarat Hatov award.


With the help of the energetic and scholarly Rabbi Daniel Rapp, who serves as the interim rabbi at the congregation, EDOS is re-establishing itself as the epicenter of Tikkun Olam projects in Denver's east side neighborhoods.


EDOS members helped to found several of Denver's most-beloved Jewish organizations, including Tomchei Shabbos (a kosher food bank), Bikkur Cholim (visiting the ill), and the Denver Academy of Torah.  The congregation continues to play an active leadership role in the Jewish community at large.


As Shlomo Fried, one of the congregation's youthful spiritual leaders, explains on this week's program, EDOS is fully engaged in chesed projects - in Denver and in Israel - working on uniting previously distant Jewish communities and helping reinforce Jewish bonds.

If you haven't seen or experienced the new EDOS yet, then be certain to listen in as Rabbi Rapp, Shlomo Fried, Jeff Auerbach, and Susie Fishman take the wraps off the shul's impressive innovations.


Hear the program now by clicking here

How Colorado Rabbis Prepare for Rosh Hashanah 5775
Part Two - Rabbi Daniel Rapp, East Denver Orthodox Synagogue

A Time to Refocus: "My Goal is to Do Better Than I Did the Year Before."
Rabbi Rapp HS
Rabbi Daniel Rapp - EDOS

Rabbi Daniel Rapp, whose permanent home is in New York, might be dubbed the "Commuter Rabbi," because he regularly shuttles between Manhattan and Denver in order to serve and enrich our community in his capacity as the interim rabbi at East Denver Orthodox Synagogue.


Rabbi Rapp and his family were in Denver for much of this past summer and will return again soon so that he can help lead Yom Kippur services at EDOS.


Rabbi Rapp is a recognized Torah scholar and a Dayan (judge) at the Beth Din of America.  His impressive credentials include serving as Associate Dean of Students of Undergraduate Torah Studies at Yeshiva University, where he is a visiting professor of Talmud.  Rabbi Rapp received his juris doctor from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was twice honored for academic excellence.


In mid-August, shortly before he returned to New York, Rabbi Rapp sat with Radio Chavura co-host Dean Rotbart at The Jewish Experience Center to share his thoughts on how the Jewish community can prepare for the High Holidays this year.  The interview was not originally intended for broadcast and thus was not recorded in our regular radio studio.  (Which explains the music, voices and noise in the background.)


"There is a spiritual gravity out there.  If you're not pushing up, you're sinking down."


But the Rabbi's insights were so on target and valuable, we thought it best to let our readers and listeners hear what he had to say directly.


Our pre-Rosh Hashanah interview with Rabbi Rapp is the second in our series of 5775 conversations with prominent Colorado spiritual leaders on the topic of High Holidays preparations.


Last week we featured Rabbi Evette Lutman of Denver's B'nai HavurahAlthough the rabbis represent a variety of approaches and Jewish denominations, each rabbi shares insights certain to make 5775 relevant and inspirational. 


Listen in on our High Holidays discussion with Rabbi Rapp here.

BONUS: Rabbi Rapp discusses his role as a Dayan at the Beth Din of America, including one issue of Halacha and the uses of DNA that arose in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on The World Trade Center. Click here.


Hear last week's interview with Rabbi Lutman here.


Radio Chavura is sponsored in part by Feldman, Denver's Jewish mortuary for 78 years, and its newest funeral service, Generations, creating inclusive memorial events for interfaith families. Read about Feldman's upcoming "Before The Mourning" series here.




 More information at and



Talya Rotbart

Edited by 
Talya Rotbart 


Thanks to the following individuals whose keen eyes helped us identify articles of interest in recent editions: Richard Behar, Shlomo FriedDr. Herzl MelmedDr. Donald Salem, Lela Kay, Chaya Parkoff, Eve LevyRabbi Daniel Alter, Dr. Harley Rotbart, Dr. Rachel RabinovitchCheryl and David Fellows, Tamari Gruszow, and Shirley Lewis. 

If you spot a news feature that is worth including in a future edition of this newsletter, please email the URL to Talya at [email protected].

"It employs kicks in the groin, elbows in the jaw and pokes in the eye - things that it's better to know and not need than to need and not know," is how a reporter for the St Louis Post-Dispatch described it.

East High JSC
Students in Jewish Student Connection. Click on photo.

Five years ago, Kendall Weistroffer had almost no connection to Judaism. The Colorado native rarely stepped foot in a synagogue, hadn't celebrated a bat mitzvah and seemed as likely to study Finnish as Hebrew.

She eventually met Rabbi Michael Sunshine, director of Jewish Student Connection, a network of Jewish high school discussion groups in Denver, and ended up founding a chapter at her high school. Now a college student, Weistroffer is deeply involved in her campus Hillel and is minoring in Hebrew, thanks in part to her experience in JSC.

UCLA psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Marmer shares the three types of forgiveness--exoneration, forbearance, and release--and explains why anyone who wants to mend meaningful relationships must first understand forgiveness. Internalizing Dr. Marmer's teaching can be an important first step, for many people, to keeping and fixing their most valued relationships.
Daniel Hailpern

Patients, staff and visitors at Children's Colorado cheer on their home team in this parody of the song "Let it Go." The song, "Broncos Go!" was the winning entry in a parody song contest by 14-year-old Daniel Hailpern, a patient at Children's Colorado's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

"I went on to tell the crowd that Christians in the Middle East have no better friend than Israel. That Christians can practice their faith free of persecution in Israel. And that ISIS [Islamic State], al-Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah, along with their state sponsors in Syria and Iran, are all part of the same cancer, murdering Christians and Jews alike. Hate is hate, and murder is murder."

 VIDEO: Brigitte Gabriel Courageously Stands Before the UN to Defend Israel and Excoriate Anti-SemitismYouTube

In this 13-minute video, Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACT! for America, wears a Magen David as she elegantly speaks at the United Nations, defending Israel against demonization, double-standards and delegitimization. The video includes Hebrew subtitles. If you are a proud Zionist, this video is must viewing.

Are Our Denver Jewish Day Schools Safe Enough? Jewish School in Australia Builds Bomb-Proof Wall- Virtual Jerusalem

Yeshiva Director Rabbi Dovid Slavin said he is not willing "to be complacent or irresponsible when dealing with young people's lives.... When there is a climate which is intense, where people are agitated and doing silly things in other parts of the world, there is a tendency for people to watch and copycat," he said. 


- YouTube

Know an Alzheimer's patient? Israeli innovators have produced a system that combines magnetic brain stimulation with cognitive training to produce better results than either therapy applied separately. Want to check the blood flow to your brain? A new Israeli devise does that, non-invasively monitoring blood velocity, especially for stroke victims. Bedridden but need a lift? The most innovative hospital bed in the world can take you from a prone position to standing with the press of a single button.


Shelly Dvir, a 14-year old heavy metal fan from Ashkelon, stopped a band she loved from canceling an upcoming show in Israel with...a heartfelt comment on Facebook.

The anti-Semitism rearing its head in France has recently broken all previous levels of proportion, with numerous physical attacks and a recent planned terrorist bombing on a synagogue in Lyon that was foiled earlier this month.


Today marks 10,524 days since Jonathan Pollard ( was imprisoned in the United States. Read Maxwell Rotbart's column, Separating fact from fiction about Jonathan Pollard, on

Today marks 1,747 days since Alan Gross ( was imprisoned in Cuba. 
Alan Gross
Alan Gross: The Toll Prison Has Taken


Rachel Kodanaz - Living with Loss One Day at a Time Listen

Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone - A Pioneer in Jewish Online Education  Listen

Rabbi Ken Spiro Discusses Turmoil in the Middle East at The Jewish Experience   Week One    Week Two

Yael Rooks-Rapport & Sam Kaye - Rabbinic Interns at Temple Emanuel Listen

Yedidya Harush - Israeli Pioneer Working with JNF to Reclaim the Negev  Listen

Yana Vishnitsky - President & CEO of Jewish Family Service of Colorado Listen

Discover all previous editions of Radio Chavura here



Photo of the Week
Summer Hang Out @ The Jewish Experience


Photo by Avital Rotbart


East Denver Orthodox Synagogue
52nd Annual Dinner
September 18, 2014 - 7pm
Honoring: Dr. Yitzchak & Michelle Teitelbaum with the Service and Leadership Award
Recognizing: George Gumbiner with the HaKarat HaTov Award
Guest Speaker: Dr. David Pelcovitz

Hebrew Calendar

Radio Chavura's Colorado Jewish Calendar   

September 15 (Monday): Brainstorming session to create new programs for Jewish & Widowed. Meet at Dazbog Coffee, 3773 Cherry Creek Drive North.  11 am.  Get involved, lend a hand. Questions: Cynthia Land, 303-506-8632. 


September 16 (Tuesday): Denver Academy of Torah Annual Parlor Meeting. 7:30 pm. Four Mile Historic Park. 715 Forest Street, Denver. Chairs:  Noomi and Philip Hirsch; Jennifer and Max Schrutt; and Randy and Mike Weiss.  Learn about plans for the coming school year.


 Grand Makeup Exhibition: Girls Night Out.  For teen girls, ages 13 - 16.  Learn innovative techniques. Try products from around the world. Discover the best look for you!  $20. RSVP in advance to

Shira Freedman

at 720-951-6226.  The Jewish Experience Center. 6:30 pm to 9 pm.


September 17 (Wednesday):  JCafe at The Jewish Experience Center, featuring coffee, snacks, and a little inspiration on various topics. 7 pm to 9 pm.  399 S. Monaco Parkway.


September 18 (Thursday):  52nd Annual Dinner - East Denver Orthodox Synagogue. Honoring Dr. Yitzchak & Michelle Teitelbaum and George Gumbiner.  Guest speaker: Dr. David Pelcovitz.  7 pm.  


Denver Jewish Chamber of Commerce

Denver Jewish Chamber of Commerce presents Branding with Wendy King, 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm at The Jewish Experience Center.  Wendy will share strategies to develop your authentic brand and your brand promise.  Fee.  Kosher food and refreshments will be available. RSVP here.

September 19 (Friday):  Fabulous Fall Colors Tour hosted by Kavod Senior Life.  Bus departs at 9:45 am from the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, 350 S. Dahlia Street. $20. Bring your own lunch or purchase during the trip. Bring along a camera.  Call Connie Moore at 720-382-7813.  A second tour will be offered on Tuesday, September 30th.

September 20 (Saturday):  Save the Date! - Benjamin Pogrund, renowned international journalist/editor, will be the keynote speaker for Selichot at BMH-BJ at 8 pm.  Co-sponsored by Action Israel.  Additional details to follow.


September 25 (Thursday):  Join Temple Micah's Rabbi Adam Morris for an Open House, to exchange greetings and to gather afterward for Tashlich. For details visit or phone 303-388-4239, ext. 1.

September 30 (Tuesday):  Denver Community Kollel's Annual Donor Appreciation Event at the home of Dr. Mickey and Susan Gordon.  Featuring Delectable Delights, a culinary experience artistically designed by the Kollel women.  6:30 pm.  Minimum suggested donation $1,000. For more information and other donation opportunities, call 303-820-2855.


Mizel Arts and Culture Center (MACC) at the JCC will present the 2014 Neustadt JAAMM Fest from October 22 through November 9 at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center.  MACC features Jewish arts, authors, and movies.  Among this year's headliners is Pulitzer-Prize winning author, Michael Chabon.


Save the Date:  The 2014 Men's Event presented by JEWISHcolorado - November 12th, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. 6 pm to 9 pm.  Minimum donation of $180.  


 Send calendar notices for your organization's upcoming events to us at: [email protected].

No, That's Not Egg on His Face:
JEWISHcolorado's Doug Seserman
Doug Seserman
Hamas v. Hummus for the Israel Defense Forces.
Click on photo to view the video.
JEWISHcolorado held its 2014 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, August 27th, at the Infinity Park Event Center.  An enthusiastic crowd of supporters attended to thank the outgoing leadership, to honor volunteers and young leaders, and to welcome 2015's board.

One of the highlights of the evening came when Doug Seserman, president and CEO, accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and then, while still dripping wet, took the Hamas v. Hummus challenge on behalf of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.  A video of Seserman's self-applied hummus facial is available here.

Special recognition was given to Nancy Gart and Ruth Malman, 2014 Board Co-Chairs and Amy Toltz-Miller, 2014 Development Chair and incoming Board Chair.

Seth Wong and Cintra Pollack were presented young leadership awards. Lisa Engbar was named volunteer of the year.
Award Winners
Were you there?  Who do you recognize?  
View 68 exclusive photos from the 2014 Annual Meeting here.

Video and All Photos by Avital Rotbart, Radio Chavura

Please click on the images below to show your support for each of Denver's top-tier Jewish day schools:



Photography by Avital
 Children * Parties * Graduations * Camps * Events * Reunions

Contact Avital by email at [email protected] or phone her at 855-539-4744